I want to apologise for getting this post to you a little later than I had planned. I just got back from a wonderful weekend away with friends and thought being that I took 2 days off work that I would find time to get some study done and to write this post, but alas that didn’t happen. I was far too busy socialising, 4 wheel driving, going for walks and soaking up some vitamin D (aka sunlight) with friends. Holidays never seem long enough but I’ve come home feeling good and well rested (well maybe not so rested) and ready to get back to a routine, and bring you more blog posts.
The second R of the 4 R approach is ‘Replace’. The idea behind ‘Replace’ is that while we naturally produce stomach acid to help us digest our food, the truth is that all too often in our modern society these acids are depleted. FYI this is a bad thing and can lead to nutrient deficiencies, trouble digesting proteins, higher risk of autoimmune diseases and the unpleasant side effects that go hand in hand.
There are a number of ways to determine if you have sufficient stomach acid but an easy test you can do at home requires just ingredient that you probably already have in the pantry. Baking soda aka sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda reacts when combined with hydrochloric acid (HCL) resulting in carbon dioxide gas which will cause you to burp.
To test mix ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with half a cup of cold water and drink first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. Then time how long it takes you to burp up to 5 minutes. If you don’t burp by then, stop timing. The idea is that if you have enough stomach acid then you will burp (a real burp, not little air burps) within 2 – 3 minutes and repeated burping may be caused by too much stomach acid. Burping after 3 minutes suggests that your stomach acid is low. This test obviously isn’t the most accurate so it’s best to test 3 mornings in a row to get a more accurate result and the result can depend on a number of variables however if you do want a more accurate result you can consider taking the Betaine HCL challenge test or the Heidelberg test. Both which are more expensive. As a side note I saw a naturopath in the past who was able to tell me through iridology that my stomach acid was low.
If you do have sufficient then that is great, you can skip the step Replace. However you may want to check again if you start having digestive problems that seem unexplained.
Thankfully if you are lacking in stomach acid production (like many people are) there are a number of easy things you can do to fix that problem. Some suggestion are
– Take digestive enzymes with meals: Betaine HCL is a short term supplement that is useful at assisting the stomach to reach the correct PH levels.
– Use Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice to dress your salads (haha I’m just picturing a lettuce wearing a dress)
– Add Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice to a glass of water and sip on before meals
– Ditch the cheap table salt and replace with a good quality sea salt
– Add fermented foods such as kombucha, saurekraut, kim chi and kefir to your diet
– Chew your food well
– Clean up your diet and make sure you are eating plenty of nutritious foods
– Cut out unnecessary medications like antacids which actually neutralize stomach acid and make digestion worse
And on that note I’ll leave you to enjoy the rest of your week. Don’t forget to check back soon for Step 3, Re-inoculate.